What Are You Doing Today Your Future Self Will Thank You For?Sep 06, 2022
What Are You Doing Today Your Future Self Will Thank You For?
In today's episode, anticipating an upcoming interview with Dr. Benjamin Hardy, the world's leading expert on the application of the Future Self science, we take a deep look at the deliberate practice in our lives. We analyze our behavior and what are the things we are doing today, thinking of our future selves.
We go through some quotes from Dr. Hardy’s book "Be Your Future Self Now" and examine how our daily habits impact the outcome we'll find in the future. We talk about being intentional with ourselves as soon as we clearly know what kind of leader, father, and husband we want to be in the future.
We also challenge ourselves to push our limits, engage in activities that force us to be better, constantly improve, and don't let ourselves "rest on our laurels."
In This Episode, You Will Learn:
- What is the deliberate practice, and how does it affect the future version of ourselves (1:19)
- Why do we miss when we think of ourselves as finished beings (3:47)
- How to make sure we don't "rest on our laurels" and why it is so important to check if we are (8:11)
- About people with fixed mindsets and the risks of constantly avoiding failure (10:45)
- Quote: Dr. Daniel Gilbert - "Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they're finished. The person you are right now is as transient, fleeting, and temporary as all the people you've ever been."
- Quote: Dr. Benjamin Hardy - "People with a fixed mindset have an utter lack of imagination about themselves. Due to their lack of confidence, people with a fixed mindset have a fragile identity, relentlessly avoiding any form of failure. From their fixed perspective, if they fail, then what must that failure say about them? People with a fixed mindset overemphasize and overly define their current selves, believing who they are now is their core self. Unchangeable and innate, their inner dialogue states, this is who I am and who I'm always going to be."
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Clint Hoopes: If looking backward, we can see all of the changes that we've made, then who are we to think that looking forward, we will also be a different person — as human beings that are work-in-progress — that we won't actually be different. The wonderful thing about it is we get to control who that future self is. It's our decision. What do we want to become? Who do we want to be? Who do you want to be?
Welcome to the Unrivaled Man podcast. Today, we are going to be talking about deliberate practice in your life, intentional practice on yourself and on the things that are most important to you as you get even clearer on who you want to become as a leader, a parent, or just a person in general. But as we begin today, I want to share something else. It's that I have a few more openings for my private one-on-one coaching. Now, what is this? What is private one-on-one executive coaching? This is where we get a chance to work together to help you with any part of your business leadership. If you are ready to take things to the next level in your leadership, and just need help managing growth, or if you're feeling stagnant in your leadership or in your life, feeling out of control at work or at home, and just need a different perspective; let's chat. You'll get great feedback even in just this one free call. So, message me on social media or email me directly at [email protected] and we'll set up a time for a zero-pressure call.
One thing that is happening soon that I'm excited to share with all of you is an interview that I have upcoming with Organizational Psychologist and author Dr. Benjamin Hardy. Now, I have shared, over the last several months, some of his different books that have been having a huge impact on me, and you've probably seen that by some of the quotes and things that I've shared in the podcast. So, I reached out to him to have him come on the show. He is coming on the show in a future episode. And in preparation for that interview, I want to share a little bit today about a topic that he talks about in his new book, Be Your Future Self Now. He talks about deliberate practice, and he talks about a few other things along the lines of becoming your future self, determining what that is and doing it now — bringing the future to today. I love this philosophy. So, one of the quotes I want to share that he actually shares in the book is from Dr. Daniel Gilbert. He says, “Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they're finished. The person you are right now is as transient, as fleeting, and as temporary as all the people you've ever been.” Now, this is kind of an interesting quote, it makes you think, because we do think that. We think, “Okay, we kind of are who we are right now.” And we don't really think we're going to change that much in the future. But the funny thing is if we look backward, though, and we look backward in our life, we look back 5, 10, 15 years ago, we would agree that we are much different today than we were then; hopefully, we're better than we were then in most ways, but maybe we're not in all ways. But any way you slice it, we are different, we are different people, we have different motivations, different things that drive us, and different dreams of what we want to become, what we want to do. If looking backward, we can see all of the changes that we've made, then who are we to think that looking forward, we will also be a different person — as human beings that are work-in-progress — that we won't actually be different. The wonderful thing about it is we get to control who that future self is. It's our decision. What do we want to become? Who do we want to be? Who do you want to be?
Now, I consider this a lot over my life. And even more recently, in reading this new book has given me some new thoughts on the topic of future self and who I want to become, and how do I use the idea of deliberate practice, intentional practice, to become that person? Let's talk a little bit about what deliberate practice even means. Now, Dr. Hardy shares some ideas about deliberate practice, and I want to apply them to myself. So, I'm going to use a little different example using his idea and the way he shares it. One thing that I think of in my life, an area where I have felt like I've had a lot of experience. But yet, I don't know that I've had a lot of deliberate practice in recent years, and that's around playing the piano. Now, I have shared that before here on the podcast that I play the piano, I really enjoy playing the piano, I play quite often. But I'll tell you, it's very interesting because Dr. Hardy shared some things that I want to, once again, discuss here. When I was younger, I had piano lessons, I had a piano teacher, and they helped me, and I got really excited about the piano. And I would push and, and I made a lot of really good progress. I got to a pretty good level of proficiency, got to where I could play a lot of things that I wanted to play, and it was great. And I didn't practice quite as much as maybe I should have. Then later during college I actually took, for a year, music theory and private piano lessons from a professor there at the university. And I made huge progress. I wasn't a music major, I was a business major. But yet, I took these piano lessons because it was important to me. And it's amazing the progress I made in that one year of just intense, focused, deliberate practice towards becoming better at piano.
And then after that, I'll tell you, I have probably not improved much. If anything, maybe I've moved backward over the last 15, 18, 20 years — it's pretty crazy how not having that focus has actually caused me, in some ways, to go backward. You might even say, to use Dr. Hardy's idea, that I've had maybe one to two years of really deliberate, intensive piano experience that was repeated over and over for the last 20 years. And that's the thought that really hit me hard; I thought I always say I've played the piano for so many years, but then when I really think about it, I think, “Okay, the meaningful improvement hasn't happened as much as it could have if that was something that I wanted to focus on, and maybe I'm just repeating the same experience over and over.” So, I think about myself in other parts of my life and I think, “Okay, as a leader, have I done that? Are there parts of my leadership, where I've had these times where I've had a huge impact on my leadership and my improvement as a person, and once again, as a leader? And then am I resting on my laurels, so to speak? Am I continually looking back on these experiences that have formed me and helped me become a certain person or a certain type of leader? But then am I just staying there? Am I more stagnant than I need to be? Perhaps, if I am more intentional in these parts of my life that are so important to me, whether that's playing the piano, whether that's my leadership, whether that's some other skill that I'm trying to get, whether that's me trying to be a more patient person, whether that's me trying to be a better father or husband, there are things that I can be more deliberate on if they are truly important to me. And I want my future self, this person I'm going to become in the future, either way, I'm going to be different. So, are there ways? What are the ways rather? Do I want my future self to be different, to be better than I am right now?
Now, there's another quote that Dr. Hardy shares from this book, and he says this: “People with a fixed mindset have an utter lack of imagination about themselves. Due to their lack of confidence, people with a fixed mindset have a fragile identity, relentlessly avoiding any form of failure. From their fixed perspective, if they fail, then what must that failure say about them? People with a fixed mindset overemphasize and overly define their current selves. Believing who they are now is their core self: unchangeable and innate. Their inner dialogue states, ‘This is who I am and who I'm always going to be.’” Do you resonate with that? Do you think “Yeah, that's me. I feel like, really, this is who I'm always going to be”? Or do you have more of a growth mindset? Where you think, no, I am going to be different, and it is within my control to change what that is. But do we have times that due to our lack of confidence, like he says here, we relentlessly avoid any forms of failure? Now, maybe not even all parts of your life, maybe just in certain parts of your life? Are you constantly avoiding failure? Whereas failure can often be the greatest teacher.
In software development, they often talk about failing fast and often. They'll talk about doing quick iterations where they go, they try something, they see if it's going to work, and then they move on, and then iterate. And now we have the chance to do the same thing. Not that we want to constantly be making mistakes or that we're just going to be flippant about what we do, but are we taking the chances in life to improve and to grow? Because taking those chances to grow can help us in deliberate practice, not being afraid to fail.
Dr. Hardy talks about failing at the level of your future self. He says, “If you're gonna fail, fail at the level of your future self, the one that's going to be even better.” Fail trying to become that person. If that person is a better version of you, someone that does even greater and better things, make your mistakes at that level and you may actually hit even higher than your current self is capable of. It's an interesting thought. When you think about being your future self, that person you can imagine in your mind, being that person now.
So, what is your purpose? What is your future self like? Dr. Hardy says, “Every human action has a purpose.” Another word for purpose is goal. All human action is goal-driven, even if the goal of the behavior isn't consciously considered by the individual. Is that you? Are you not consciously considering your goals? And so life just happens and you become a better person, perhaps a little bit, little by little? You're pointed in the right direction, but maybe it's not completely conscious what you're doing. Or do you have goals that are very specific? And do you work towards those goals and use this deliberate practice to become a better person so that you don't end up having one or two years of experience repeated over and over, over 20 years, that after 5, 10, 20 years, you have in fact 20 years of deliberate practice, great experience, things that change you for the better in whatever part of your life that's most important to you.
I am very excited to share this upcoming interview with Dr. Benjamin Hardy with you, and it will be coming up soon and we will continue this discussion on being your future self now. So, for now, it is the time to be the Unrivaled Man in your life.